Unless you already own a suitable piece of land, finding a building plot can be a challenge, impacted by geographical or budgetary constraints.
How to find a building plot
To start your search for suitable building land, visit our SUPPLIERS DIRECTORY which lists several plot-finding services.
Some other methods for plot hunting include networking (ask all your friends on Facebook to look out for one for you, for example); contacting estate agents and landowners, checking out auction houses, hiring agents to search for you, advertising in the local press, in pubs and shops, and with mobile workers such as taxi drivers, mobile gardeners and hairdressers.
Where are self-build plots advertised?
There are a number specialist ‘plot finding’ websites that you could investigate. Collectively, they list thousands of self build plots in the UK and offer a powerful way of searching and contacting listed vendors. They are:
- PlotBrowser from the team at SelfBuild & Design magazine
- Plotfinder.net from the team at Homebuilding & Renovating magazine
- PlotSearch from BuildStore
Plus, there’s The Land Bank Partnership; a useful site which specialises in the sale of land with a planning consent or the potential for residential development in the West/South West of England. There are also other sites, such as Land for Building, which are worth following on social media.
You can also search an area for an untended garden or neglected building etc and then approach the owners. If you have a defined search area buy yourself a high resolution Ordnance Survey map or use Google Earth/Google maps as this can sometimes help you identify quirky potential infill sites that are not visible from the main roads.
Other site finding techniques include:
- Offering a finder‘s fee to planning agents and architects.
- Checking at the local planning office for permissions granted but not started.
- Joining (or setting up) a local self build club or group where members share leads and help each other to hunt.
For a group build, you can also approach a parish council and ask them to suggest a suitable site. If your plans include affordable homes for local people in housing need, they should support your efforts. Or look through the list of public land for sale by the Homes and Communities Agency.
The GLA also has a database of land for sale.
If you’d like to join a local self build group, HousePlanner has a list.
Finally, you could consider finding land via an AUCTION.
A WORD OF WARNING…
Don’t get conned into buying land by a property scam company. These organisations often advertise plots of land that will never realistically get planning permission (for example, in areas that are protected by the Green Belt etc). If someone is selling a wonderful plot of land at an unbelievable price there’s got to be something wrong. And if you buy a site like this – usually still costing tens of thousands of pounds – you’re very unlikely to ever recover your money. Be warned.